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My Grandma’s Capirotada recipe is simple with not a lot of ingredients. The flavor takes me to another place in time when life was good and my mom was in the kitchen making this dish for us on a Sunday evening during Lent.  Above all, the Mexican bread pudding has warm notes from a beautifully rich syrup of cinnamon, clove, and piloncillo (think brown sugar).  

Why do I call this my “Grandma’s Recipe?”

To clarify, there’s a bit of a story behind this recipe. My mom made it this way for my dad as it was his mother’s recipe. She did that quite often because according to her when they first got married my dad would ask her to make certain dishes as his mom made it. Typical mama’s boy.

Apparently, my mom’s mother (Grandma Dolly) didn’t make Capirotada until much later in life when she remarried. I just love how family stories can sometimes circle around food.


It wasn’t until I was much older that I learned Capirotada can be made a variety of ways depending on the region of Mexico someone is from. 

Over the years, I have enjoyed Capirotada made with milk, evaporated milk, even condensed milk. I’ve had it with bananas, prunes, mangos, and coconut. It’s a beautiful bread pudding that can be tailored to your liking. We even have a Tropical Capirotada recipe on our blog you’ll need to check out if you like mangos and coconuts. 

But, at the end of the day, it is my Grandma Laura’s Capirotada recipe that I long for every Lenten season. And, it gives me great pleasure to be able to make it for my dad since my mom and his mom are now in heaven. 


Yield: 8-10 servings

Grandma's Capirotada Recipe

Grandma's Capirotada Recipe

Capirotada is a traditional dessert bread pudding made during Lent.

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes


  • 6 cups of water
  • 3 Piloncillo cones
  • 3 Mexican cinnamon sticks
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup roasted, salted peanuts
  • 12 thick slices of bolillo or French bread (see note below)
  • 2 cups of shredded Monterey Jack Cheese


  1. Preheat over to 350 degrees
  2. In a medium-sized stockpot, add the water, piloncillo, cinnamon sticks, and cloves over medium-high heat. Allow the piloncillo to completely dissolve and the syrup thickens (about 10 to 15 minutes).
  3. Slice the bolillos about 1/3 inch thick and assemble on a baking sheet. Place in the oven for about 15 to 20 minutes to toast.
  4. In a deep 9x9 inch baking dish, use some cooking spray on the bottom of the baking dish.
  5. In layers, add the toasted bread, sprinkle raisins, peanuts and cheese. Continue with the next layer until you have a full baking dish adding extra cheese and raisins on top.
  6. Spoon the syrup over the assembled dish until all the bread is moist.
  7. Bake for 40 minutes until golden brown.
  8. Enjoy warm.


During Lent, many supermarkets now offer precut and toasted French bread made especially for Capirotada. This saves so much time.

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  1. Beautiful story and dish! I will be trying this tomorrow for Easter 🙂

    • Stephen Chavez

      Hi – how did it come out?

      • Thank you for this recipe! This appears to be similar to my grandmother’s recipe. I can’t wait to try it. It’s been so long. Lovely story.

      • Mmmm…This is similar to my mother’s recipe except we add sliced apples. Do you line your pan with tortillas?

        • Stephen Chavez

          Hi Susie – we do not line our pan with tortillas. Interesting note though! How does it taste with it?

  2. It looks very similar to my abuelita’s recipe, except she used pecans instead of peanuts. It’s something I continue to make every Lenten season.

    • Stephen Chavez

      Oh, that’s great. One of our favorite desserts.

  3. My grandma woul make this for Christmas.
    Mom prepared this for me, I will make the caprirotada.

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